EntertainmentPosted by Christian Mark Taylor Mon, February 25, 2013 21:33:55
Well it was that time of year again, when the red carpet is rolled out, the media jostle for the best positions, men in black tie and the ladies celebrating fashion. It was the 85th Academy Awards.
Lets get straight in with the top award, Best Picture. Now is it me or is the standard of films winning this category declining? Don’t misunderstand me, I am sure ‘Argo’ is a good film but is it a fantastic film? Will it stand the test of time and be as well known as some of the previous winners:
1972 – The Godfather
1978 – The Deer Hunter
1981 – Chariots of Fire
1987 – The Last Emperor
1993 – Schindler’s List
1996 – The English Patient
2006 – The Departed
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire
Or will it be one of those films whereby you look back and think how on earth did that win. In my opinion films like Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Titanic (1997), Chicago (2002) and I have to say the Artist (2011) fall into this category.
Like I said, they are all good films (in their own way) but are they worthy of being the best film I am not too sure, maybe it just wasn’t a competitive field that year. If I don’t think Argo should have won then what did I think should win? Well I am not sure but I believe a film like Life of Pi will stand the test of time or even Lincoln.
It was great to see Daniel Day-Lewis win his third Best Actor Award (for the third time, an Oscars record), which was thoroughly deserved as he stood out far beyond the rest. I would argue strongly that he should have won Best Actor in 2002 as well, because his performance in ‘Gangs of New York’ was truly outstanding
It was also good to see Life of Pi doing so well as I was worried that Lincoln would take over and leave nothing for everyone else. I had visions of Titanic in 1997 when it won 11 Oscars and was completely over rated and quite rightly received a backlash for a while afterwards. The thought of that awful song still sends shivers down my spine; it should be listed as an ‘audio crime against humanity’.
In the end the awards were split between a variety of films, with the all top awards all going to different films and that can only be a good thing. I look forward to next year.
EntertainmentPosted by Christian Mark Taylor Wed, February 20, 2013 18:09:19
It was my wife that asked me over a pint last night, ‘what do you think of Hilary Mantel’s remarks?’ and my first question was ‘Hilary who?!’ I have to say I wasn't really any better informed even after reading a BBC news article and looking at her wikipage.
I freely admit that I am not the greatest person at keeping up with literature and the arts, and having won two Man Booker Prizes (2009 and 2012) means absolutely nothing to me and I would suggest the vast majority of people in the country. I did however cast my eye over previous winners and I had heard of two books; Life of Pi (back in 2008 long before the film came out) and The White Tiger so I don’t feel as if I am totally in the dark.
So, why would this woman criticise an individual who is looked upon so highly in this country and not expect to feel some public backlash? To suggest Kate was ‘selected for her role of princess because she was irreproachable: as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character’, well it seems quite frankly, ill-judged.
But there are those coming out in support of Hilary saying she has been misquoted and that leads me to think, what did she actually say then. Her full speech Undressing Anne Boleyn is a not very interesting speech to me, but like I said I am not a literature and arts type of person. However I gave good grace and read the entire speech. My absent thoughts on it? Quite frankly it reminded me of someone droning on, who hadn’t noticed the audience were asleep and that they should have finished about 30 minutes ago! But what I did pick out of it all is that Hilary seems to be criticising those around Kate and not Kate herself. It is those around her, the ones that dress her, organise her and manage her image just like a mannequin who are at fault, but they do it for a reason. We the people force Kate to be a real life soap character, because our hawk eyes scrutinise and are so quick to pick up any of her flaws or faux pas. Therefore it’s we the collective who force her to be stage managed with fake smiles (when needed). Even if she is having a bad day, she is not allowed to show it and must maintain the smile and the image. Kate will always be Kate, but behind closed doors I believe she is free and relieved to be herself and free to have a curt word with William when required.
Ultimately I believe the monarchy is changing, as it passes into the next generation. I firmly believe that William, Kate and Harry are reinvigorating the monarchy for the 21st century. This speech by Hilary had a few pertinent points, which unfortunately was completely lost by the single-line-sound-bites that were picked out. For a world renowned author I would have hoped she could have articulated her words slightly better because her audience wasn’t just in that room, and I and the vast majority of people do not understand the complex nature in which she was trying to make her point. As my school teacher always said ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’ (KISS) and then there can be no confusions, misquotes or taken out of context remarks!